Overview of the MRC
Who We Are
Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers include medical and public health professionals, such as physicians, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists, dentists, veterinarians, and epidemiologists. Many other community members also support the MRC, such as interpreters, chaplains, office workers, and legal advisors.
The United States is divided into 10 MRC regions, which contain any number of local MRC units. Personnel at the state level coordinate with the 11 MRC Regional Coordinators and those at the local level. MRC units represent those at the local level, as they are responsible for implementing volunteer capabilities for emergency medical response and public health initiatives to match specific community needs.
Our Organization and Leadership
The MRC is organized into community-based units located throughout the United States and its territories. The program is directed at the local, regional, state, and national levels.
At the local level, each MRC unit is led by an MRC Unit Coordinator, who matches community needs—for emergency medical response and public health initiatives—with volunteer capabilities. Local coordinators are also responsible for building partnerships, ensuring the sustainability of the local unit, and managing the volunteer resources.
Each MRC unit is led by an MRC unit coordinator, who matches community emergency response and public health needs with volunteer capabilities. Unit coordinators are also responsible for building partnerships with other community organizations, ensuring the sustainability of their MRC unit, and managing volunteer resources.
State Coordinators collaborate with the regional coordinators and with those at the local level.
There are 10 MRC regions and 10 Regional Liaisons across the United States and its territories. Regional coordinators collaborate with medical and healthcare personnel as well as personnel at national, state, and local emergency preparedness agencies.
The MRC Program is the national program office of the MRC and is responsible for maintaining this website. The MRC Program supports local efforts to establish, implement, and sustain MRC units by:
- Collecting and distributing information and best practices to communities and units
- Coordinating with local, state, regional, and national organizations and agencies to help communities achieve their local visions for public health and emergency preparedness
Overseeing MRC regional coordinators (see What is the role of the MRC Regional Liaisons?). The MRC Program is housed under the Partner Readiness and Emergency Programs (PREP) Division within the Office of Emergency Management (OEM), Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Why We're Needed
The need for the MRC became apparent after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when thousands of medical and public health professionals, eager to volunteer in support of emergency relief activities, found that there was no organized approach to channel their efforts. Local responders were already overwhelmed and did not have a way to identify and manage these spontaneous volunteers, and many highly skilled people were turned away. As a result, the MRC was established to provide a way to recruit, train, and activate medical and health professionals to respond to community health needs, including disasters and other public health emergencies.
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